Find Out How Much House You Can Afford

by Rita Alonso 12/01/2019

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’re upgrading to a larger house to fit your family’s needs, it’s vital to understand just how much house you can afford before you start shopping for homes.

When planning for your future home, there are two main things you need to figure out.

  • What is a smart amount to spend on a home for your budget

  • What are the key features in a home that will give you the most benefits for the cost

These two questions may seem simple, but there are quite a few factors that should go into determining each one.

So, in today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the process of determining what kind of house you can afford so you can make the best home buying decision for you and your family.

A smart home buying budget

To create an effective budget, you’ll need to gather some information and possibly create a spreadsheet with Excel (or a free alternative like Google Sheets).

On your spreadsheet, you’ll first want to add up all sources of income that your family has. This is the easy part for most people who only have one or two sources of income based on a salaried job.

Next, is the hard part--expenses. We can’t just use your current expenses to determine the new budget because we have to account for changes in several areas.

If you aren’t sure of the cost of living for the area you hope to move to, try plugging it into this cost of living comparison tool to see get a better idea of the cost of things like transportation, childcare, groceries, and more.

Likewise, it’s also a good idea to assume you’ll be paying more in utilities if you’re hoping to move into a home that is larger than your current home. Keep in mind, however, that different houses have different levels of energy-efficiency, so it’s a good idea to also ask the seller of the homes you’re interested in to determine what your costs might be.

Now, subtract your expenses from your income. The amount remaining should easily cover whatever mortgage payment you receive along with, ideally, 20% of your income going toward savings.

Deciding what you need in a home

The second part of determining how much house you can afford is to find out exactly what you’re looking for in a home. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, location, the size of the backyard; all of these are questions that have a monetary value.

So, to really answer this question you’ll need a strong understanding of what you and your family’s goals are for at least the next 5-7 years, if not longer.

Once you have your long-term goals and a good understanding of your budget, you can start safely shopping for homes with a clearer idea of the type of home you’re looking for and just how much home you can afford.

About the Author
Author

Rita Alonso

As a native Sonoma County resident, Rita has witnessed many changes over the years. Sonoma County has invested considerable time and energy into revitalizing our downtown areas, developing mid to high end homes and constructing affordable housing, yet the warmth and small town feel of decades past still remains. We have fine restaurants and big-city entertainment, as well as great schools, including a top-notch junior college and state university, all located in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country. This warm and friendly county is an ideal location for you and your family.

Rita is passionate about what she does and people are her first priority. By working with a full time Real Estate Professional, who really understands the market and has a pulse on Sonoma County, you can be confident that Rita’s professionalism and community connections will lead you home.

Buying or selling a house is a big step. Rita is committed to helping you throughout the process. You can trust that she will work with you to understand your vision and do all she can to insure that your desires are met. She is committed to meeting your needs with integrity and top-level customer service. Rita is a great negotiator and she is on your side to get the price you need to sell or the price and credits you need to buy. Please call today so that Rita Alonso can go to work for you!

About Rita Alonso

She is a graduate of Montgomery High, Santa Rosa Junior College and the University of San Francisco. She had worked in the mortgage industry for 10 years before getting her Real Estate license in 2004, specializing in buying and selling residential, commercial, investment properties, along with experience in short sales and bank owned properties. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the NorthBay Chapter of Realtors, the Women’s Council of Realtors, and the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. Rita has been a Top Producer for over seven years and she has just joined a dynamic team of Top Realtors in Sonoma County called Marketing Masters. With her team, Rita can make a difference in top customer service and getting the job done.

Rita is also the mother of two grown sons and two grandchildren and continues to enjoy being actively involved in the Sonoma County community.

Rita’s goal is to exceed your expectations as your Realtor for life.
Let Agent Rita “Helping you see your way home!”

Please call today so that Rita can go to work for you!

Rita Alonso
Professional Real Estate Agent
“Helping You See Your way Home!”
By the way: If you know anyone buying or selling Real Estate anywhere in the USA, pass their names along. I can help!

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